Venus and Jamie Murray Make Winning Mix at SW19

Venus and Jamie Murray Make Winning Mix at SW19

By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, July 1, 2022

Venus Williams brought passion, purpose and 11 months of inactivity to her Wimbledon return.

Jamie Murray came with a sore neck and a commitment to the cause.

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Together, the pair shook off shared rust and rocked the front court defeating Alicja Rosolska and Michael Venus 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3 in the Wimbledon mixed doubles first round.

It was Williams’ 24th Wimbledon appearance and first Tour-level match since she played Chicago last August when she fell to former Wimbledon doubles champion Hsieh Su-Wei.

The thrill of feeling Wimbledon grass beneath her feet sent the 42-year-old Venus soaring.

“I haven’t played in a year so you don’t know what you’re going to get. Practice is so much different from a match,” Williams said. “It’s not easy physically or mentally or anything. Just at the last it was like, Oh, my God, wow. I just not only played a match but won a match.

“I’m never like that kind of player. I always expect to win. But when I sat there, we wanted to win, but when I sat there at the end, it was like real. Yeah, I felt something in my heart .”

So did fans on No. 1 Court.

Murray, who has previously won Wimbledon mixed doubles crowns with former world No. 1 players Jelena Jankovic in 2007 and Martina Hingis a decade later, received a text from Williams’ coach with the Wimbledon mixed invite.

Although he was suffering from a stiff neck and had no plans to play mixed, Murray said partnering Venus was a no brainer.

“Last year she asked me, but I hurt my neck. So I was like, I want to do both. Can’t say no twice.

“We’re playing. It was a lot of fun tonight. We had a good time. So nice to play on Court 1, a load of people come out to watch, or stay out to watch. Yeah, it was cool. I really, really enjoyed it. Amazing to be on court with such a champion.”

Afterwards, the Grand Slam champions said their maiden partnership came together last minute, but was really years in the making.

They showed a natural rapport at the net and in their post-match presser.

“I’ve been trying to play with him forever. He plays hard to get,” Venus said prompting Murray to reply “She only asked me at Wimbledon where it’s five sets for the doubles.”

A time flies reminder for devoted tennis fans: 22 years ago Venus and sister Serena won the first of their five Wimbledon championships together.

Tonight, Venus and Jamie Murray were asked if they’re “in it to win it.”

“What kind of question is that,” Williams said. “We’re in it for a stroll. C’mon.”

Williams and Murray will try to sustain the roll in round two against British wild cards Alicia Barnett and Jonny O’Mara.

Former world no. 1 Venus sat in the support box during sister Serena’s epic opening-round loss to Harmony Tan and credited Serena tonight for inspiring her return.

The two sisters father Richard Williams dubbed “ghetto Cinderellas” in their rise from the public courts of Compton, California to Wimbledon’s Center Court returned to SW19.

Asked about the reaction to the film “King Richard”, Williams said she’s gratified it’s motivated so many viewers to pursue their dreams.

“The film has been, for us, so resonating with how it’s resonated with so many people, how it’s motivated them to get closer to their families or to live their dream,” Venus said. “I think that’s gone beyond what we could have ever imagined. Then, like, Oscars, beyond my dreams.

“We definitely had our hands full when we weren’t on tour. We have so many more projects we’re working on, too, which is beyond exciting. It’s great.”

And the show goes on at Wimbledon.

Photo credit: Getty


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